India India publishes amended Rules detailing Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging

India publishes amended Rules detailing Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging

On February 17, 2022, the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) published Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022 which provides details on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging. The amended Rules were published as a draft bill on October 7, 2021 and were subject to a 60-days public comment period. Under this amendment, guidelines on EPR for plastic packaging were added as Schedule II. The changes from the draft amendment include the addition of compostable plastic sheets for packaging and compostable carry bags to the list of covered plastic packaging, and the establishment of recycling targets for these packaging materials. Also, the start of application of the recycling targets and target ratio of recycled plastic use imposed on producers, importers, and brand owners was postponed by one fiscal year (recycling targets: from FY 2024, target ratio of recycled plastic use: from FY 2025).

Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022
https://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2022/233568.pdf

 

Covered entities

  • Producers of plastic packaging
  • Importers of all imported plastic packaging and plastic packaging of imported products
  • Brand owners including online platforms or marketplaces and supermarkets/retail chains (excluding micro and small enterprises)
  • Plastic waste processors

Covered plastic packaging

  • Category I: Rigid plastic packaging
  • Category II: Flexible plastic packaging of single layer or multilayer (more than one layer with different types of plastic), plastic sheets, covers made of plastic sheet, carry bags, plastic sachet or pouches
  • Category III: Multilayered plastic packaging (consisting of at least one layer of plastic and at least one layer of material other than plastic)
  • Category IV: Compostable plastic sheets for packaging and compostable carry bags

Obligations of importers/brand owners

For example, importers and brand owners have the following obligations.

EPR target (importers/brand owners)

FY EPR target
I 2021-22 25%
II 2022-23 70%
III 2023-24 100%

*The information on EPR target (in MT) should be included in the action plan and submitted through the online portal developed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Minimum recycling targets (importers/brand owners)

Plastic packaging category 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 2027-28 and onwards
Category I 50% 60% 70% 80%
Category II 30% 40% 50% 60%
Category III 30% 40% 50% 60%
Category IV 50% 60% 70% 80%

*In case of Category IV, recycling means composting at industrial composting facilities.

End of life disposal (importers/brand owners): Plastics that cannot be recycled will be sent for end of life disposal such as road construction, waste to energy, or waste to oil as per relevant guidelines issued by Indian Road Congress or Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (by methods specified in rule 5 (1)(b) of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016).

Target ratio of recycled plastic use (importers/brand owners)

Plastic packaging category 2025-26 2026-27 2027-28 2028-29 and onwards
Category I 30% 40% 50% 60%
Category II 10% 10% 20% 20%
Category III 5% 5% 10% 10%

*If the above targets are fulfilled for a given year and a surplus is generated, EPR certificates will be issued for that surplus, which can be used to offset the shortfall from the previous year, carried over to the next year, or sold to other covered entities. However, EPR certificates for the surplus may only be used for offsets, carryovers, or sales in the same category.

*Any recycled plastic used in imported material shall not be counted towards the fulfillment of this obligation. Therefore, importers should fulfill the obligation by purchasing EPR certificates.

Percentage of reused packaging materials (brand owners):
The brand owners using rigid plastic packaging (Category I) for their products must comply with the following reuse ratios.

FY Target ratio of reused packaging materials to annual sales volume of products using Category I packaging materials
A. Rigid plastic packaging used for products with a volume or weight of 0.9 liter/kg or more but less than 4.9 liters/kg
2025-26 10%
2026-27 15%
2027-28 20%
2028-29 and onwards 25%
B. Rigid plastic packaging used for products with a volume or weight of 4.9 liters/kg or more
2025-26 70%
2026-27 75%
2027-28 80%
2028-29 and onwards 85%

 

For reference